The Orioles need to win nearly every game for the rest of the season. Tonight, they run into a pitcher who has had a complete game against them the last two times he has faced them. In three games this season, Ivan Nova has pitched 23.2 innings against the O's and given up four runs. With a 3.02 ERA on the year, it's not only the O's he's been shutting down, but the best games of his career have been the ones he's started against the Orioles this year.
It's time to win. It's time to win almost without stopping. So the Orioles lineup features... Nick Markakis leading off. Also, Henry Urrutia is the designated hitter. Is that really necessary? I guess that it is. Markakis looked good against a lefty last night. Maybe he'll look good against Nova tonight too. He has an 11-32 in his career against Nova. Matt Wieters has hit four home runs off Nova in 26 at-bats. Those were the days, before Nova was what he is now. Shoot, hopefully the O's don't get no-hit.
The O's have won their last six home games against the Yankees, and they have not allowed more than three runs in each of those games. If strong pitching continues like that, then they should have a good chance of winning every night. It won't continue, of course, because these are the Orioles. It's up to Miguel Gonzalez tonight, who has had some of his best games against the Yankees, though his last start against them was a disaster.
With a win in any of the next three games, the Orioles would have their first non-losing season against the Yankees since 1998. The Yankees having won or tied the season series against the O's for that long is the longest streak of its kind for any team against one opponent. The Orioles need to win more than one of the next three, though, or you can put this season to bed.
It will be a tough task: the Yankees have a .581 winning percentage in September/October regular season games since Joe Girardi took over the helm. The O's haven't been too shabby in those months under Showalter either.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Nick Markakis (L) - RF||Brett Gardner (L) - CF|
|Manny Machado (R) - 3B||Alex Rodriguez (R) - 3B|
|Chris Davis (L) - 1B||Robinson Cano (L) - 2B|
|Adam Jones (R) - CF||Alfonso Soriano (R) - LF|
|Matt Wieters (S) - C||Curtis Granderson (L) - DH|
|Nate McLouth (L) - LF||Mark Reynolds (R) - 1B|
|J.J. Hardy (R) - SS||Ichiro Suzuki (L) - RF|
|Brian Roberts (S) - 2B||Eduardo Nunez (R) - SS|
|Henry Urrutia (L) - DH||Chris Stewart (R) - C|